Pacing
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Winter Hiatus on the beach

I had the tremendous pleasure of discovering that my life is so much more in sync when I pace my day. This word wasn’t part of my vocabulary before Buxton Farm.  I was molding a different clay before Buxton. Simpler in some ways but not nearly as creative, challenging, educational or inspirational.

Life off the farm!

Buxton is teaching me to live from a more balanced perspective. We had a crash course on this perspective our first season. I don’t like pushing beyond the edge, especially physically, it never seems to pay off.  I’ve always been terribly determined and love the feeling of expansion in my life. But I’m becoming more intimate with my limitations.  I’m finding life is smoother when I honor them not resist them.  Sometimes that list of things to do CAN WAIT!  So these days I’m pacing myself. In addition, once the season starts we work everyday 8 months straight so pacing is crucial.

Glorious Winter Hiatus

What does pacing look like? First it means tuning in.  Am I moving through the day with my cup half full?  How am I feeling? Physically, emotionally? Am I getting enough sleep? Do I need a good laugh? Nap? Epsom Salt  bath? Will a  dip in the river sooth me?  A night out for dinner with my husband? Meditation?  A simple 15 minute meditation works wonders for me. How about stretching out? We use our lower backs all day. I always find relief after a nice stretch.  Perhaps I need a good weep? Yes, sometimes I find a good cry is a significant way of releasing stuck energy.  Maybe I need to get off the farm and actually see people? That’s a big one at Buxton. We are nestled deep in the countryside.  Sometimes we forget there’s life off the farm during the season. We put most social events on hold until our winter hiatus. It certainly gives us a lot to look forward to. This past winter our hiatus was divine! Pure relaxation and restoration.

Sunset (our hiatus)

 Here’s what I know. The animals move very little in the heat. Watch them. They look for shade, become super still, drink lots of water, and get pretty still and quiet. They pace themselves. I’m as instinctual as that, but I’ve noticed  when life gets busy  my natural instincts get turned down a notch. That’s why I’ve become fond of pacing. It’s a natural integration of surveying the moment and meeting immediate physical or emotional  needs in aspiration to feel better.

Morning Chores

A few days ago we had some local folks stop by the farm for a short tour. Afterwards they wondered how we found time to grow our own food. Too many animals and chores to do? Managing Buxton is a lifestyle. I’m in the wrong line of work if I don’t have time for a kitchen garden. Especially when this hobby gives me great joy. Again, life is a delicate balance.

Pacing is my latest medicine. We can do this work. With a little mindful intention, things always have a way of working out. I’ve witnessed this over and over in my life. I’m sure all you moms know how to pace! Pacing is a great way to manage a promising busy season.

Hens in Zone 2

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About Grace

Grace and her husband Michael manage Buxton a Polyface satellite farm. Her first passion is to align with radiant health. She knows intimately that when you have your health you can do anything. Next, her passion for vibrant healthy food and beautiful landscapes along with her interest in permaculture influenced Grace's decision to align with the Polyface farming model. With 20 years of experience in the healing arts, she feels growing food and pasture raising animals is one of the greatest healers and a true source of personal empowerment. It's been said, "if you're not living on the edge your taking up too much space." Grace lives joyfully on the "leading edge" surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the appalachian mountains where her and Michael steward 1000 acres with profound appreciation."
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7 Responses to Pacing

  1. Annie Kate says:

    Yes, honoring our limitations is crucial, and that involves pacing. I’ve been learning that for a few years as well. 🙂

    Other things I think about to help pace myself:
    1. Very rarely, even in homesteading, is there an urgent deadline for anything besides feeding and certain harvests. Whether you plant today or tomorrow doesn’t matter all that much; whether you hay now or after the rain does matter, for example. But the animals always need food (and so do families) and the plants always need water.
    2.Sunday is meant for resting, not working.
    3. Growing our own food to improve our health and quality of life is sabotaged by stressing out over the work. Do it all joyfully.

  2. Mrs H says:

    You are absolutely right! Understanding your own, personal limitations and knowing what can be delegated or set aside is very important – because there is plenty that cannot wait until tomorrow!

  3. Great post! I was thinking of instituting a mandatory rest period this summer on hot days during the heat of the day. Reading and resting in the shade. I think this will make our morning and evening times more productive.

    • Grace says:

      It will! We stop during the heat of the day, let it pass and then work into the evening as the sun is setting. This is a much more beautiful time to carry on! The animals do this.

  4. Leilani says:

    Terrific post! We all need regular reminders about pacing and balance. I am in the habit of starting multiple projects at the same time. Here in Florida the heat gets truly intense and your reminder of how the animals handle it really put things in perspective for me. It is hard for me not to be “out there” ever hour of the day, I need to get better about coming in during the hottest part of the day and being more in rhythm with the flow of the day than fighting it.

    • Grace says:

      No more tug of wars! Allow yourself to chill, literally! I really and truly find that resting during the heat and working later when it’s cool is a step in the direction of sanity.